When you want to see how relevant or in demand a certain language is, you look, among other things, to job ads and companies. If you look at a few mainstream platforms, you’ll find quite a few positions for Perl developers and if you look at BuiltinPerl you’ll see plenty of companies and startups that use Perl, that have Perl programmers working there. But there’s one more place where you can see how much Perl is used, the freelance market.
Forbes mentioned in an article that there were 53 million freelancers in the United States in 2016, 34% of the entire workforce, and that by 2020, 50% of the U.S. workforce will be involved in freelancing (part time, project based or full time). Freelancing is a very attractive work on demand process that has become an economy in itself, a 715 billion dollar economy, just in the U.S.
Programmers are very sought after as freelancers, for long time collaboration or one time projects. If you check out any of the major freelancing platforms, you’ll see plenty of opportunities, but the truth is that doesn’t always translate to actual work. Freelancing is opportunistic, but it’s also less reliable as a full time activity. But the main point here is the Perl freelance market itself, which, by going through several freelancing platforms, is quite rich and diverse, showing how spread Perl really is.
Here are a few things we discovered. Most of the posts are for short term work, for problem fixing or one time tasks, like this one:
I have a website that runs heavily on PERL.
I had to move this website from an old server to new server and I am not sure what PERL modules I need on this new server. I also like to make the website faster.
This is a client that has spent over $30.000 on the platform (not necessarily just on Perl)
Perl Catalyst Web Developer - We are looking for someone to assist the core team with bug-fixing and also working on supporting applications. You’ll find the environment stimulating with lots of freedom to grow working with people who are passionate about writing awesome applications!
This is a South-African company with over $50.000 spent on freelancers. Looking at it's profile, it’s mostly done work strictly in the field of programming.
There are plenty other like them, you can find them on Upwork, Toptal, Freelance, Guru and other platforms. This shows that besides the usual Perl companies, there is another world of Perl, in the freelancing arena, one that is worth taking into account.Tweet